Sunday, 2 December 2007

First Sunday of Advent

In this holy season we wait for the coming of the Lord; in humility at Bethlehem, in glory at the end of time, in grace in our lives now. The first candle of the advent wreath is lit, as sign of our longing and of future glory already breaking into our world.

This year, we are experimenting by placing the wreath in the centre of the Cathedral, rather than on the sanctuary. This brings the ceremony of blesing the wreath and lighting the candle much closer to the faithful; we shall be monitor how it goes.


John the organist said...

It's a great idea and worth trying.

M.J. said...

I'm curious as to what the Advent "attire" in the cathedral looks like. May I request a few photographs on your blog?

If more places had a nice violet frontal, vestments, pulpit fall, Missal stand cover, tabernacle veil, Evangelarium cover, &. there would be no need for the Lutheran Advent wreath.

I will concede, however, that a nice Advent wreath makes a wonderful centerpiece on the dinner table or whatnot.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is great having the Advent wreath in the middle rather than on the sanctuary, it concentrates the mind.

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't imagine why an Advent wreath - as innocent as it is evocative - should be discounted merely on grounds of its origins in Lutheranism. Surely we've moved on a bit?

Anonymous said...

Have to say I prefer it on the Sanctuary. The issue, for me, is that it encourages the view of the Mass as a communal event/meal, rather than a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice. I'm sure the Holy Father would prefer it on the Sanctuary too; but then he would prefer Mass to be served ad Orientem as well.

It seemed you were coming down with a cold yesterday. Your usually wonderful singing voice seemed to be having to work against slightly faulty equipment. Still, even when your voice is off form it is better than most's on form.

Anonymous said...

i think having the advent wreath away from the sanctuary actually serves to center attention on the altar since there are less focal points 'up front'. i can't see how it's location has any bearing on the view of the mass as a communal meal. i think one of the errors of the past years has been the tendency to clutter the sanctuary and altar. also, incidentally, i'm not sure that the holy father does prefer mass ad orientem just that he sees it as a valid option in some circumstances. i feel the holy father's preference at the current time is probably for mass facing the people with the cross in the centre as a symbolic east (as seen at his more recent masses). i don't believe they do use an advent reath in st peter's (i've never noticed one anyway) but if they did, i'm guessing he would prefer not to have it in an overly prominent location where it may serve to obscure the view of the altar. let's not quibble about these little details. the good liturgy at the cathedral can only be commended. good luck with the experiment, i hope people like it... and if they don't, we can chalk it up as experience next year.

Anonymous said...

The placing seems fine to me, better than in the sanctuary, this is not a liturgical thing, but I would definitely question the use of the purple and pink candles. This has come in recently, certainly all of us posting here can remember when the candles were red (as they are in Germany where this tradition comes from). The purple and pink seems so twee, like laymen wearing ties in liturgical colours!

I do not believe its origin is only Lutheran, in parts of Germany the advent wreath is used in Catholic houses and monasteries, but usually in the dining room or refectory.

Here is a link to Pope Bendict's wreath, in his study, and with red candles.

Please, Monsignore, may we follow our Holy Father's choice of colour next year?